HealthDay News — Postpartum depression screening conducted during infant hospitalization can identify depression among previously unscreened women, according to a study published online August 16 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Margaret J. Trost, MD, from the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and colleagues assessed postpartum depression at infant hospitalization in a prospective study conducted among 310 women with an infant aged 2 weeks to 1 year who were admitted to a pediatric hospitalist service. Mothers completed demographic questionnaires, a maternal-infant bonding scale, and the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS). Those with a positive screen on the EPDS received counseling and mental health referrals.

The researchers found that 28% of mothers were positive on the EPDS. Appropriate prior depression screening was reported by 14.6%. Poor social support and history of psychiatric diagnoses were maternal factors associated with being EPDS+ (odds ratios, 4.40 and 5.02, respectively); there was a correlation for having an infant with neurodevelopmental comorbidities with EPDS+ screens (odds ratio, 2.78). Of the 21 initially EPDS+ mothers who were reached by phone, 38% used their doctor or referral resource, resulting in lower EPDS scores versus those not seeking help (P<0.05).

“Postpartum depression screening during infant hospitalizations captures women previously unscreened,” the authors write.

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